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Maternal Depression and Child Psychopathology: A Meta-Analytic Review

Maternal Depression and Child Psychopathology: A Meta-Analytic Review Although the association between maternal depression and adverse child outcomes is well established, the strength of the association, the breadth or specificity of the outcomes, and the role of moderators are not known. This information is essential to inform not only models of risk but also the design of preventive interventions by helping to identify subgroups at greater risk than others and to elucidate potential mechanisms as targets of interventions. A meta-analysis of 193 studies was conducted to examine the strength of the association between mothers’ depression and children’s behavioral problems or emotional functioning. Maternal depression was significantly related to higher levels of internalizing, externalizing, and general psychopathology and negative affect/behavior and to lower levels of positive affect/behavior, with all associations small in magnitude. These associations were significantly moderated by theoretically and methodologically relevant variables, with patterns of moderation found to vary somewhat with each child outcome. Results are interpreted in terms of implications for theoretical models that move beyond main effects models in order to more accurately identify which children of depressed mothers are more or less at risk for specific outcomes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review Springer Journals

Maternal Depression and Child Psychopathology: A Meta-Analytic Review

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References (335)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Social Sciences, general; Child and School Psychology
ISSN
1096-4037
eISSN
1573-2827
DOI
10.1007/s10567-010-0080-1
pmid
21052833
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although the association between maternal depression and adverse child outcomes is well established, the strength of the association, the breadth or specificity of the outcomes, and the role of moderators are not known. This information is essential to inform not only models of risk but also the design of preventive interventions by helping to identify subgroups at greater risk than others and to elucidate potential mechanisms as targets of interventions. A meta-analysis of 193 studies was conducted to examine the strength of the association between mothers’ depression and children’s behavioral problems or emotional functioning. Maternal depression was significantly related to higher levels of internalizing, externalizing, and general psychopathology and negative affect/behavior and to lower levels of positive affect/behavior, with all associations small in magnitude. These associations were significantly moderated by theoretically and methodologically relevant variables, with patterns of moderation found to vary somewhat with each child outcome. Results are interpreted in terms of implications for theoretical models that move beyond main effects models in order to more accurately identify which children of depressed mothers are more or less at risk for specific outcomes.

Journal

Clinical Child and Family Psychology ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 4, 2011

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